KNUT HOUSE PRESS

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Walking in Chicago with a Suitcase in My Hand
by Matt Morris

Matt Morris's book Walking in Chicago with a Suitcase in My Hand was a finalist for the 2015 Knut House Poetry Prize and features original artwork by photographer Riley Vann. Morris's first book, Nearing Narcoma, won the Main Street Rag Poetry Award. His poetry has received multiple nominations for the Pushcart Prize. In advance praise of this new collection, author Donald Mangum writes: "What Morris is able to pull off with a sentence is head-spinning. From the understated beauty that graces the world he serves up to the twelve-gauge both-barrels-at-once delivery, there is a constant and ever-increasing undertone of what I dare call wisdom. This stuff will lift you by the scruff of the neck and drop you anywhere from the middle of a baseball diamond to a freefall into hell. I intend to be rereading this book well into my dotage."

Author Bio

Matt Morris's work has appeared in various magazines and anthologies, including DMQ Review, 88: A Journal of Contemporary American Poetry, Hunger Mountain, New York Quarterly, Runes, and Utter. His first book, Nearing Narcoma, won the Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award, and he has received multiple nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Two chapbooks of his poetry, Here’s How and Greatest Hits, were published by Pudding House. He currently lives on what’s left of a family farm in West Virginia. This collection Walking in Chicago with a Suitcase in My Hand was a finalist for the 2015 Knut House Poetry Prize.


Pat McDowell photo

Artist Bio

Riley A. Vann was born in New Mexico and grew up in Texas. After teaching college writing and literature for fifteen years, talking about the stories we tell ourselves and how those stories identify us, he became interested in the ways we mark ourselves outside of words. With the camera, he began to capture the visual signs and symbols that also tell our stories. His photography has appeared in numerous exhibitions. Riley currently lives in New Jersey with his wife Dawn, dividing his time between photography and teaching.

Read more about the artist


Pat McDowell photo

Advance Praise for Walking in Chicago with a Suitcase in My Hand

What Morris is able to pull off with a sentence is head-spinning. From the understated beauty that graces the world he serves up to the twelve-gauge both-barrels-at-once delivery, there is a constant and ever-increasing undertone of what I dare call wisdom. This stuff will lift you by the scruff of the neck and drop you anywhere from the middle of a baseball diamond to a freefall into hell. I intend to be rereading this book well into my dotage.
— Donald Mangum, author of The Roar Beneath

Matt Morris’s poems travel in cinematic drive through landscapes of the flesh-and-blood commons — trailer parks, dim bars, parking lots — teeming with all that’s unrequited but refusing to succumb to despair. Startling humor, brazen wordplay, and the hum and rattle of everyday speech convey effortless erudition and craft. The comic and the tragic wear the same cheap suit, and you laugh — until the stab of revelation catches your breath with a glimpse of firmament.
— Cynthia Wolfe, producer, WFHB radio’s Books Unbound series

Read Matt Morris’s latest book Walking in Chicago with a Suitcase in My Hand. It has oodles of sex. Read this book. Where else will you find poems about being a kid in Day Care? . . . Read this book for the humor and the rhythms and a continual search for self-awareness and an escape from self. This is a fine book of poems and a pleasure to read. Philosophical, comical, experimental, thoughtful, sometimes puzzling but always worth one’s attention. Read it!
— John McKernan